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(kīfō`səs): see hunchbackhunchback,
abnormal outward curvature of the spine in the thoracic region. It is also known as kyphosis and humpback, and in its severe form a noticeable hump is evident on the back.
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curvature of the spine in man, with the convexity of the curve posterior.

The entire spine of the newborn is arced (total physiological kyphosis). As the infant develops, physiological kyphosis arises in the thoracic and sacral sections. Kyphosis in the thoracic spine may increase dramatically by old age because of developmental changes in the intervertebral disks and a weakening of muscle tone.

Pathological kyphosis, a result of congenital abnormalities in spine development (additional wedge-shaped vertebrae or the fusion of separate vertebrae), usually appears after the age of six months, once the infant has begun to stand and walk. Kyphosis can result from rickets, spinal tuberculosis, and certain familial conditions. It can also develop in persons who sit bent over for long periods of time because of occupation or myopia. Kyphosis is treated by special gymnastic exercises and by strengthening the back muscles by massage or physical therapy. Surgery may have to be performed if more conservative treatment proves unsuccessful.


Angular curvature of the spine, usually in the thoracic region. Also known as humpback; hunchback.
References in periodicals archive ?
But if you do notice this layer of tissue forming, whether people start to urge you to stand up straight or you can feel the area by rubbing your neck, it's not too late to take steps to keep the dowager's hump from progressing.
DOWAGER'S HUMP This debilitating condition is a side-effect of brittle bones (osteoporosis).
The curl of her dowager's hump was so pronounced, her head seemed to be attached to the front of her throat.
It's a disease that's been tagged as the silent killer and years ago more cruelly as the dowager's hump.
POSTURE Sitting up straight can prevent the development of dowager's hump, also known as hunch back.
6) Osteoporosis Having a parent who has suffered a hip fracture, dowager's hump or been diagnosed with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk of this bonethinning disease.
Dowager's hump - spine curvature due to collapsed vertebrae
Dowager's hump and bone fractures caused by osteoporosis once were believed to be inevitable with aging.